Olongapo’s Lantern Parade

December 11, 2012: Sometimes you come across something unexpected. Take Tuesday afternoon for example. Sachi and I had taken a trike to Pag Asa market and decided to walk back. That’s when we came across this, the Lantern Festival. We had to ask what was going on. At first we just saw a bunch of kids lined up outside their school holding colourful suns made out of plastic drinking straws. They sell them in the market.

Lantern Parade 01
Lantern Parade 02

In Olongapo’s lantern festival we didn’t see any actual lanterns and it was held in the middle of the day but no bother. It was still festive. I think nearly every elementary and high school student participated with their teachers.

There were marching bands complete with majorettes. Other classes had the sun/star “lanterns” or wore handcrafted Christmas hats decorated like tinsel trees or stars.

Lantern Parade 03
Lantern Parade 04
Lantern Parade 05
Lantern Parade 06
Lantern Parade 07
Lantern Parade 08

Around 1pm the parade started with one marching band doing a rendition of Gangnam Style complete with munchkin dancers and musicians. The crowd loved it. And then hundreds (if not thousands) of kids marched from SM City Mall, around the corner and down the main street with traffic still heading in the opposite direction. I guess they didn’t see the point in closing the whole street!

Lantern Parade 09
Lantern Parade 10
Lantern Parade 11
Lantern Parade 12
Lantern Parade 13
Lantern Parade 14
Lantern Parade 15

About an hour later, it was over and life in Olongapo returned to normal.